By Crystal Bugner –
Erick Dutchess just had a baby!
Well, not one of his own. This baby has a few more feathers than what you’d expect.
The new man of the hour is just starting to walk, but he’s becoming pretty popular among students. He’s the emu that was just hatched in Dutchess’s class. That’s right, there’s an emu in the school.
He came out of his shell Sunday, March 13, and since then there’s been a constant stream of visitors popping in to see how he’s doing.
“A few girls have asked him to prom,” joked Dutchess.
The fertilized emu egg was donated by the Gillichbauer family, residents of the Penn Manor School District. The family has emus of their own, and offered to give the egg to Dutchess free of charge.
In fact, the only charge for this exotic creature was the price of the incubator, which was several hundred dollars and paid for by a grant from the school district.
Dutchess said the emu doesn’t have many other environmental needs aside from the incubator, as long as you exclude the affection of students.
The need for affection doesn’t seem to be a problem though with how many students are happily stopping in to see his growth progress on the way to their classes.
“He needs less external heat, but he’s still very needy in terms of food and cleanliness,” said Dutchess about a week after the emu was born.
Hopefully this little guy will grow big and strong, though there have been worries expressed about how long he will live. For the time being much of the school will be wishing him the best and making sure he has all he needs.
As for a name, Dutchess said that’s up to his future owner, physics teacher, Mr.Hess.
“I think we’re going to let Mr.Hess decide, because it’s his animal,” said Dutchess.
Steven Hess admitted it hasn’t been the first thing on his agenda.
“I hadn’t really thought about a name, probably something simple like ‘Pat,'” Hess said, in which case we wish him and Pat luck in the future.